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Australia arranged a warm and fuzzy welcome for the world's most powerful leaders at this weekend's G-20 summit with a campaign dubbed “koala diplomacy,” in which top politicians cuddled the shy native marsupials.
Australia brings 'koala diplomacy' to bear at G-20


The world's most powerful economies urge “strong and effective action” on climate change, catapulting the issue up the G-20 agenda in a new boost for campaigners after a surprising Sino-U.S. breakthrough.

Australia said Thursday it will ban the dumping of dredging waste on most of the Great Barrier Reef as environmentalists called for the government to go further and commit to a total halt.

Global growth is the buzzword for this weekend's summit of leaders from the 20 biggest industrialized and developing economies and there are high expectations the gathering will deliver an ambitious plan to boost the world's GDP by more than US$2 trillion.
Global growth leads agenda at G-20 summit


Australia unveiled its newest national park, Everlasting Swamp, on Wednesday as thousands of delegates gathered in Sydney for the start of the once-in-a-decade World Parks Congress.

Australia Tuesday pledged AU$6 million (US$5.2 million) to the fight against illegal logging as top officials and conservationists met in Sydney for the Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit.
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A third Australian has died in the past two weeks while fighting with Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria, a report said Sunday.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott Sunday vowed that the G-20 leaders' summit this week “won't be a talkfest” as he hailed the economic meeting as the most important ever held in his nation.

Australia's jobless rate remained stable at an almost 12-year high of 6.2 percent in October, official data showed Thursday, reflecting a soft labour market as the economy adjusts away from mining-driven growth.

Australian gamers Tuesday were among the world's first to get their hands on the latest installment of “Call of Duty,” as publisher Activision sought to boost the blockbuster franchise amid concerns about consumer fatigue.
Battle lines drawn as blockbuster 'Call of Duty' on sale in Australia


An Australian who climbed onto a dead whale as it floated offshore, attracting the attention of large sharks, apologized on Monday for his “idiot” act.

Australian banking giant Westpac on Monday posted a 12-percent jump in full-year net profit to AU$7.56 billion (US$6.60 billion), driven by growth in lending volumes and customer deposits.
Australia's Westpac Bank annual net profit up 12%


A firefighter has been killed and at least two homes have been destroyed by Australian spring wildfires, officials said Saturday.

Australia and New Zealand on Saturday marked 100 years since their first convoy of troops left for the battlefields of World War I, with thousands attending events to commemorate the “heavy day in history.”
Australia, NZ mark 100 years since 1st troops left for WWI

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